March Madness in Fruitland!

Welcome Fruit Loops to March Madness.

This year March brings with it a number of spring celebrations including Passover, Easter and the switch in Daylight Savings Time, so in celebration of this glorious, life-affirming month, we will be picking, gleaning and rescuing even more fruit and veggies to make the month special for everyone! We hope you will join us in our devotion to fresh food and see what lies ahead this month…

To kick off this edition of Fresh Juice, we would love for you to SAVE THE DATE – Saturday, April 27th, 7-11 PM – for our third annual Spring Melt – a fundraiser like no other. This year it’ll be held at the ONLY operational distillery in LA – GreenBar Collective.  The location alone should give you an idea of what’s in store – free flowing cocktails, fine wines and beer, PLUS a full menu of gourmet grilled cheese, salads and desserts provided by Clementine all night long. With Zesty entertainment, a delicious silent auction and much more to make this an event for the record books. Tickets go on sale mid-March, but make sure you and your party friends hold the date.

We are thrilled to say Food Forward’s CAN IT! Academy – both the 12 week Food Preservation & Cottage Arts Certificate Program and the 2013 Foodsteader Tour are NEARLY SOLD OUT!  The Foodsteader’s first stop March 23rd 10AM at Handsome Coffee is where you will learn from the experts all the roasting, barista and bean secrets to create the perfect cup (plus munch on an assortment of pies furnished by ThePie Hole.) The Food Preservation & Cottage Arts class – the only class of its kind being taught in LA this year will not only teach you the ins and outs of everything from jams, curing, liquors, but also the nitty gritty on how to start that food business you’ve always dreamed of.LAST CHANCE TO SIGN UP NOW

March holds the return of the SUNSET PICK!  Starting this month you can put the cellphone and laptops down, get your butt out of traffic and come volunteer for an end-of-the-workday harvest.  See the deets below. We love Sunset Picks, not just because helping those in need is a GREAT reason to leave work early, but because it means summer isn’t far off!

March also brings us the launch of fresh produce collection at the Sunday Mar Vista Farmers Market. If you’ve been looking for ways to get involved on the Westside, our Farmers Market Recovery program is now at 3 Farmers Markets on the west side every single week – Wednesday Santa Monica, Sunday Santa Monica and Sunday Mar Vista. Sign up to collect unsold produce from farmers – all of which goes to local hunger relief agencies – on our events page!

We’re juiced to announce that FF Ventura County has begun building a Board of Advisors, and welcomes its first two members: Lucky Lynch (interfaith consultant extraordinaire) and Jason Hendrick (radio/social media guru of  We are thankful to them and are excited to see where their ideas and expertise help us take the VC Branch in 2013.

Finally a HUGE THANKS to all those who have helped in the just-about-complete renovation of the Fruit Cave – full pix will be posted when it’s totally done, but we want to give a HUGE shout out to the key players who are been the reason it was able to happen: Tran Nham (architect and long time FF volunteer/Pick Leader), Annette Eason of Eason Design Group and John Pitbaldo (designer and wranglers), Dominique Smith of US Green Build – LA Chapter(donations), and Jay Hale of HVA Construction (general contractor.) Their generosity of time, materials, talent and more has made our urban tree house a crazy fun place to work – and something we could have never accomplished on the tiny budget we had. You guys are great!

To leave you, our Fruit of the Month is the White Grapefruit! We’re dripping in these tasty, tart fruits and our very own Brenna Lyons offers a lesson on why these fruit are so special. Check it out on our blog!

Now onto the promised March Madness…

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